Archive for March 2013


Getting to Crivitz

March 19th, 2013 — 1:28pm

A friend has been teasing me ever since I wrote in this blog that all I wanted one evening was to snowmobile home, something ‘easy and attainable.’  In the winter, Rick and I snowmobile ten miles from our house to the point where the county plows on the Grand Marais end of the road turn around.  Then we park the sled and get into our truck, which we leave parked in the turnaround, and drive ten miles into town for work.  Because I’ve been doing it so long, it did seem normal and also fairly easy to me.   (It didn’t work out to be either that night, due to a mistake on our part of forgetting to take a quart of oil with us, which we had to go back for, adding an hour to our trip.)  But his teasing has reminded me of how used we get to our own lives and situations, the good and the bad.  We get smashed up against the glass of our life, I said to Kristen in the diner the other morning, and can’t see anything.   She smiled like she knew what I meant.  (Is there a word for that particular kind of smile?)  But still we muddle through.

Yesterday morning was sunny and cold and bright, the sun reflecting like crazy off the snow.  I got to sleep in a little because instead of going to work, we were going to Crivitz, Wisconsin, for a book talk for the Marinette library system.  I wished I’d brought my camera home  so that I could illustrate my trip, which due to Gary’s teasing I did suspect might be unusual.  There’d have been a photo of me in snowpants, Polaris jacket, helmet, and beaver gloves.  Rick getting the snowmobile started.  Sallie in her crate strapped to the luggage rack and tucked into her blankets, peeking out expectantly, looking for her biscuit.  Me strapping my dress boots wrapped in two plastic shopping bags down to the top of her crate with bungee cords, alongside the small shovel we always carry in case of getting stuck in a drift.  One of the snowmobile buzzing along the unplowed road through the tall pine trees.  One of Lake Superior with its iceburgs, shelf ice, dark blue cold semi-frozen water farther out.  A photo of my memory of seeing the icebreaker Mackinac headed for Duluth the other afternoon, though we didn’t know that’s what that bright white speck on the horizon was at the time.

We got to the truck, transferred everything to it, headed for Grand Marais, stopped again at the diner and checked in and picked up a few more things, then headed down M-77 toward Manistique and then Escanaba.  Spent a long time in Menard’s Building Center, a place I like as much most men seem to.   Came out full of ideas and blinking:  at the time (where did it go?), and the change in the weather:  sunshine turned to serious-looking snow.  I went ahead and got super-anxious then about making it to Crivitz.   Rick stopped at a friends’ house next to say hello, a nice idea I was sure we didn’t have time for, but:  he was right, we did have time.   Not only did Deborah let me change into my dressier clothes in Ed’s office and lend me ear rings and give me a calming glass of milk and a bag of cheddar cheese chunks and Ritz crackers, but also Ed knew that the route my computer had generated would’ve taken me to a bridge that was out, and sent us on a better way.  It was a way we managed to lose track of near the end, and so we were trundling down lonely country roads in a determined kind of snow in we-didn’t-know-where-we-were, Wisconsin, (and without a map), but I wasn’t actually very worried.  We were going more or less the right direction.  I finally convinced Rick to stop so I could ask a man driving a Kabota tractor-plow for directions.  (“You’re not far.  Seven, eight miles, is all.  Stay on this road, G, until it splits into G and GG, then turn left so it’s still G, then turn right on W, and that’ll take you right into Crivitz,” which it did.)

At 6:24 p.m. CST I walked into the St. Mary’s church hall in Crivitz for my 6:30 p.m. talk, only 9.5 hours after leaving home.  The people who came out in the snowstorm were warm and attentive.  I felt relaxed and happy.  The long trip starting with the snowmobile ride nearly ten hours and 200 miles before seemed like nothing, no big deal, all fun.

9 comments » | Life

Rain Day

March 10th, 2013 — 8:18pm

We’re at home because of the weather.  It’s one of those drizzly March days when water drips off the ice piled on the roof and the snowmobile won’t run properly and time for once feels as spacious and slow as I so often want it to.

I have a cold and couldn’t sleep last night, but am peaceful with that.  It’s a meditative day.  I finished rereading The Small Room, by May Sarton, in the morning.  A small, quiet book of ideas that interest me.  All afternoon I’ve been working steadily but without urgency on my own book.  Soon I’ll take a  walk, the kind of walk appropriate for a person with a cold on a rainy March day.  I’m looking forward to smelling the watery air and not going too far or too fast.

I am an overachiever, driven.  This allows me to dream big dreams and sometimes achieve them.  It also makes it hard to relax.  I’m grateful to be forced into relaxing today, as well as I’m able.

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